TV is just a metaphor

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This Venturebeat article caught my eye this morning and got me thinking. It first got me thinking that my kids have no concept of TV as anything other than an object (the big screen in the living room). TV isn’t even a metaphor for them… “We want to watch something” is their plaintiff cry when they are bored.

They have no real concept of programmed channels because most of their viewing is time shifted (thank you, iPlayer for Octonauts on demand). They have no real concept of TV programme or film formats (it’s either a long one or a short one). They don’t have any concept of device dependence, happily consuming video content on screens large or small.

But in their world where content and devices have no intrinsic linkages, it isn’t just the television that is a loose metaphor. They wave at the telephone when speaking to grandparents because that’s just like a Skype video call to them, but without the pictures. They seamlessly switch between phone and tablet and laptop to play games. A book can be on paper or on screen.

They have none of the prejudices and assumptions about what belongs where that are still deep-seated in those of us who remember analogue. The separation of content from format that media folk still struggle with is natural for them because it is all they have known.

They are nearly five and nearly four.

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